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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Education, Crowdfunding and Savivo’s EduWatch

How would you teach a child how to read time? To be fair and honest, even us adults don’t always seem to manage to keep up with a clock, so how to make sure a kid does?

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Luckily we can easily entrust this task with the schooling system, but what about the poor teachers then? How do they explain young students the importance of a funny looking contraption with numbers and hands that you can’t basically even play with?

Well, teachers can either do it the old way, which can cause some grumpy resistance among the reluctant learners who’d prefer to see what crayons taste like, or then they could turn to Savivo, the Danish e-learning startup that has the tools to engage even the most rebellious toddler into a session of playful learning.

Savivo has more to offer than just time related education, most notably popular programs which teach kids English and mathematics, but their latest Indiegogo project, the EduWatch, is solely focused on teaching kids with valuable understanding on the ticking that defines the very core of our adulthood lives.

Dobriyana Tropankeva, Savivo’s Communications Manager, tells us teaching kids about time is nothing short of tricky, but that interactive lessons via applications greatly facilitate the task.

“A kids ability to learn is a double edged sword: the good part is that they learn incredibly fast, but the downside is that they also forget very quickly what they’ve learned. The Mingoville EduWatch & app is a combination of the educational app and the wristwatch that works in conjunction with the app. The clocks in both the app and the watch are identical, which helps the child with making the connection between the two and therefore reach better results in learning their meaning.”

And it makes sense: children are most of all visual learners and seeing the clock first in the app and then on their arms, kids can have a moment of heureka rather quickly. Tropankeva confirms this, saying results are clearly visible in a matter of a few days.

Why is it so important to have kids learn time at such an early age though? It’s not like kids won’t learn the clock eventually.

Perhaps so, but its good to remember that in the fast-speed 21st century, time is most of all a valuable asset; If a kid learns to appreciate and measure their time, schedule; plan and be punctual, they will continue to do so later in life, which is what Savivo’s aiming for.

Savivo is somewhat of a big timer in digital learning: in Portugal, over half a million computers have their software installed; in Chile, more than 350 000 Chilean youngsters have a subscription to their apps and in Denmark, a country where tablets are becoming a more common sight in the elementary school class rooms, Savivo’s apps are used in over 35% of schools nationwide.

So why would a company of that magnitude launch their project on Indiegogo?

“Crowdfunding is already a popular platform for financing different gadgets and games. We want to prove that edu games and projects can and should be as successful as entertaining games and high-tech gadgets. After all, since everyone cares about children’s education, what better platform than crowdfunding?”, Tropankeva says and continues, “on a crowdfunding platform like Indiegogo we can also get connected directly to the customers who want the watch instead of going throuhg the complicated processes of conventional hardware distribution.”

The aim of the fund is to reach $10 000, with $1343 of that sum already pledged after only a week since the launch. A watch (with the app included) currently costs $25, which is about half of the retail price intended once the campaign is over. Additionally, the watch is customizable to some extent, with different colour options for the casing and straps, which by the way have fast wraps (meaning it fits the smallest of arms), and the app is available in 11 different languages.

As for the hardware, the watch has been build to survive the rough treatment of a young human, which means the watch will be robust, waterproof and shock-resistant.

Its a good time to be a kid in school. Education is evolving and kids will undoubtedly learn faster and in larger quantities, which is very good, since our future has more than just a couple of problems that need to be solved.

PS: If you purchase the watch, let the kids play around with the app first, and once they’ve learned a bit, give the watch as a reward!

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Raf is a tall, lanky Finn wandering in the UK academic landscapes. With an MA in Psychology (University of Aberdeen) he's taken his penchant for brain studies a step further by embarking on a MSc in Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh. Long-time lurker and contributor at AS, always hungry for fresh story leads in Tech/Espionage/the Absurd.

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